Movies Reviews Carlos Saura

Release Date: Feb. 27
Director: Carlos Saura
Cinematography: Jose Luis Lopez-Linares and Eduardo Serra
Starring: Carlos Do Carmo, Mariza, Catarina Moura, Argentina Santos, Maria da Nazare
Studio/Run Time: New Yorker Films, 88 mins.

A celebration of music on film

In Carlos Saura’s eighth film about music, he tackles the obscure and archaic Fado, a form of song that remains in its purest form just two guitarists and a singer. Fados explores its past in Lisbon and the cultural heritage that surrounds the music. But this isn’t a History Channel-style documentary—Saura treats us to the form’s legacy through song, dance and recreation in what ultimately amounts to a series of music videos. Fados is a clear descendent of his 1995 film Flamenco, which was also a series of musical vignettes shot on a soundstage. The film takes the concept further in every way possible, though, by littering the shots with mirrors, back projections, and elaborate set pieces. The result combines masterful singing and dancing with equally virtuosic filmmaking that takes the music documentary in new places, even for Saura. Fados isn’t just a director’s look at one genre of music, it’s a celebration of the special relationship between music, dance and film.

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